I recently got a message from one of our photography academy graduates that was having challenges in his photography career. He had finished from eloPhotos Academy in 2010 and had ventured partly into training other would-be photographers. The last training he had was in 2014 and he had decided he would either quit training or seek someone’s advice on how to get better results. He chose the later and we would eventually meet for a 30 minutes session.
He had gotten just one person that signed up for his last 5-days training and was wondering what he could do to get better attendance. Before he finished explaining all the issues he had, I knew the root of the problem because I had been in his shoes. In addressing the problem, I explained to him that it was erroneous of him to have started the marketing of his training program just six weeks prior to when it was scheduled to start. He should have started marketing his brand as a "photography trainer" about 3-6 months before advertising a training program. I told him that the average person that would attend his training is likely to be more convinced about his training potentials if he as a trainer has enough "evidence" of such online.
I explained to him that very few people will pay you N40k for a 5 days training in photography if all they see on your Facebook page are jokes and non-photography related posts. If he wanted better attendance for his future training programs, he should start putting up photography-related posts that shows that he is capable of proficiently teaching
Photography. No amount of discounted training will get him the audience he wants if he doesn’t posts enough photography-related educational nuggets online. 3-6 months of consistently doing that online should be enough evidence to prove to one of the 100,000+ Nigerians looking for a photography teacher that he is eligible to be their teacher.
The second reason he was having issues forging ahead in the industry was because of the type of company he keeps. I personally know most of the photographers he associates with and he’ll have to make new photography friends/mentors if he wants to "progress" in the industry. I explained to him that it is no coincidence that I’m deliberately connecting with the likes of Joe McNally, Zach&Jody, Demola Olaniran, Aisha Augie-Kuta & other world-class photographers that I’ll like to be like when I grow up. Though a bitter pill to swallow, his failure is guaranteed if he does not begin to associate with people that look like they’ve gotten to where he is going. I told him the difference between his current photography friends and his ideal photography mentors. His friends are likely to tell him something he agrees with that will make him remain at his current spot (or move at their pace forward or backwards) while a mentor is like to tell him things that he does not necessarily agree with but will like catapult him to his destiny. The choice is his to take.
Though he seemed to be inspired by all that I said (judging from the fact that he was nodding his head at 60 nods per minute), I only hope he would not procrastinate on the implementation of some of the medicine I recommend. It is medicine I’m currently using myself and I’m confident the results will be impressive in 3-5 years. Blessed indeed are the doers more than the hearers of this photography word for theirs is the kingdom of…………… (fill in the blanks)